Grattan Kirk, CEO of Exclusive Books, has made a public apology to South Africans and author, Pieter-Louis Myburgh, for cancelling last week's book launch of Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture.
Kirk was addressing moderator, Redi Tlhabi, Myburgh and a crowd of attendees at the amphitheatre at the V&A Waterfront on the protest and disruption-free Wednesday evening.
He said the events at the launch in Sandton as well as the stretched capacity of the South African Police Service (SAPS), who were dealing with service delivery protests in the Cape at the time, left the Waterfront and Exclusive books "hamstrung".
Kirk added that the decision was taken considering the safety of patrons, but nevertheless offered his "sincere apologies".
News24 previously reported that Donald Kau, head of PR and communications at the V&A Waterfront, confirmed that, after a three-way meeting between the V&A Waterfront, Exclusive Books and the SAPS, a decision had been taken to cancel the launch, "primarily informed by the safety of our patrons".
Kau explained that, although there had been no indication of a planned protest, a security review undertaken by security operations concluded that "we should not go ahead with the launch".
With so many unknowns, the decision was "primarily a risk management consideration", Kau added.
That launch was subsequently held at the Cape Talk studios in Somerset Square, Greenpoint.
The impetus behind the cancellation was driven by security considerations after a group of protesters, some wearing ANC T-shirts, disrupted the book's Gauteng launch in Sandton on Tuesday May 9. They ripped apart some copies of the book and threw the pages around, News24 reported.
Gangster State reveals how ANC secretary general and former Free State premier Ace Magashule stood at the "head of a well-organised state-capture network" in the province for almost a decade.
This network scooped millions of rands of taxpayers' money in schemes seemingly presided over by Magashule and has allegedly seen people like former president Jacob Zuma, the Gupta family, some of the Magashule children, the former provincial premier himself and a host of connected ANC politicians benefit from various government schemes.
Magashule has publicly denied any wrongdoing during his time as leader of the Free State and stated on eNCA that "we will prove in court that the man (Myburgh) is a blatant liar".
Myburgh, on Wednesday, again confirmed that his legal representatives have not yet heard from Magashule's lawyers and that the ANC secretary general is yet to initiate legal proceedings.